Two years ago, with Obama’s veto waiting in the wings, only Susan Collins and now-retired Mark Kirk voted against clean repeal. Today, with an opportunity to send clean repeal to the House:
Seven Republican senators have voted NO on straight ACA repeal:
— Tara Golshan (@t_golshan) July 26, 2017
Clean repeal would have undone all of ObamaCare’s taxes and mandates while leaving its regulations in place. Er, wouldn’t that cause a death spiral, with insurers deprived of revenue they’d need to cover preexisting conditions for the sick? Indeed! But the bill had a two-year implementation delay built in. Essentially this would have been symbolic repeal with the GOP back to the drawing board on a replacement system with the clock ticking. But the votes weren’t there because, in the end, the senators above refused to tolerate rolling back ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, even with a delay. Why Trump, who vowed to protect Medicaid, was willing to tolerate it, I don’t know.
Your quote of the day comes from former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, pondering the many lies he told his base before he was sent packing by voters in his district:
Asked if he feels partly responsible for their current predicament, Cantor is unequivocal. “Oh,” he says, “100 percent.”
He goes further: “To give the impression that if Republicans were in control of the House and Senate, that we could do that [repeal ObamaCare] when Obama was still in office . . . .” His voice trails off and he shakes his head. “I never believed it.”
He says he wasn’t the only one aware of the charade: “We sort of all got what was going on, that there was this disconnect in terms of communication, because no one wanted to take the time out in the general public to even think about ‘Wait a minute—that can’t happen.’ ” But, he adds, “if you’ve got that anger working for you, you’re gonna let it be.”
Don’t beat yourself up, Eric. It turns out they couldn’t repeal ObamaCare with Trump in office either.
Next up for McConnell and the caucus is “skinny repeal,” which is shorthand for a bill that would get rid of just the individual and employer mandates as well as some of ObamaCare’s taxes. Wouldn’t that also cause a death spiral if it passed? Well, yes, quite possibly, but the point of passing “skinny repeal” is merely to find *something* on which 50 Senate Republicans can agree. Once they pass *something*, they can take that bill, go to a conference committee with the House, and hammer out a real bill that can pass both chambers. “Skinny repeal” itself would never actually become law.
If the Senate passes a skinny repeal bill, the House could simply take up the legislation and pass it unchanged, declaring a quick victory after a lengthy and painful process.
A Senate GOP aide told Independent Journal Review he expects such an outcome to be the Republican strategy, rather than muddling through the complexities of health care reform in conference.
Um, what? Without the mandate forcing healthy young consumers to pay into the system, insurers will quickly go bust trying to cover people who are still in the risk pool. That huge financial shortfall will need to be paid for somehow. Guess who’s going to end up paying for it.
By the way, a new poll out today has public support for single-payer at 40/33 even with the poll question taking care to mention that the program would be financed by new taxes. Gulp. In lieu of an exit question, I leave you with this pithy summary by Philip Klein of seven years’ worth of broken promises.
2010: Elect us to stop Obamacare.
2011: Can't stop it without Senate.
2015: We need the WH to stop Obamacare.
2017: We can't stop Obamacare.
— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) March 7, 2017
Update: These losers are so hopeless, they might actually do this.
Cornyn just raised one possibility: The House just passes skinny repeal and Congress calls it a day.
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) July 26, 2017